ANTICIPATED OUTCOMES - BENEFITS OF ARTS EDUCATION
Measured Pro-Social Developments
After Participating in a Quality Art Program:
most complete and well-designed analysis of arts education, and the
effect this has on a population’s pro-social development, comes from
the YouthARTS Development Project, a collaboration of the U.S.
Department of Justice, National Endowment for the Arts, Americans for
the Arts, and local governmental and nonprofit entities in three cities.
The study encompassed arts-based prevention and intervention programs in
Atlanta, San Antonio, and Portland, Oregon that share a common focus on
reducing the risk factors for antisocial behavior (e.g. social
alienation, early school failure) and increasing the protective factors
that help youths stay out of trouble (e.g. positive peer associations,
communications skills). Ultimately, these outcomes were expected to
result in reduced delinquent and criminal behavior. The detailed
evaluation report of the YouthARTS program was published in November
2000, and suggested the programs had a variety of positive impacts on
youth attitudes and behaviors.
In respect to
criminal activity, highlights include:
In Portland, only
22 percent of the arts program participants had a new court referral
compared to 47 percent of the comparison youth. The level and type
of offense committed during the program period were less severe than
In Atlanta, despite
the fact that the arts program participants had, on average, more
court referrals than the other groups at the start of the program
(7.1, vs. 6.9 (San Antonio) and 2.2 (Portal) referrals,
respectively, they had, on average, fewer court referrals during the
program period than the comparison group (1.3 and 2.0 respectively).
Moreover, a smaller proportion of the arts participants committed
new offenses during the program period than the control group (50
percent vs. 78.6 percent).
In San Antonio, where
the program focused on pre-adolescents (10 to 12 years of age), only
3.5% of participants committed a delinquent offense in the 22 months
following program completion.
Pro-Social Developments After Participating in a Quality Art
• Better discipline
• Increased self-esteem
• Reduced truancy
• Better relations with adults
• More hope for the future
• Increased motivation
• More positive peer associations
• Less interest in drugs
• More resistant to peer pressure
• Reduced criminal activities